my beloved umbrella.
'Why am I even here?'
I ask myself again in front of your door - the one that will never open for me again. The rain starts to pour outside the small shade. I don't have an umbrella with me, but that doesn't matter.
When we were together I will knock the door in a funny manner, with the pattern that no one else but 'us' know.
I learned long time ago that you didn't like me anymore. You can't take the pressure from people around us.
I just feel weak today.
I won't knock. I won't let my presence bother you. I will just be here because of the comfort I get from the sight of your door.
It tells me at least I once had a place to belong to.
Well, how did it all start?
Oh yes, it was that rainy night when that kind you offered me an umbrella.
It all started with an umbrella.
The rain was pouring non-stop.
The water poured down from the sky like a thick curtain, blocking the beautiful city view on the other side of the bridge away. The water poured on my unprotected body.
It was cold.
It was cold, I supposed. At the moment I didn't feel any coldness outside because I was way colder inside.
Rejection. Hated. Jealousy.
I was so sure I lived my life so peacefully, talk less, do more, work hard, argue nothing, but still, people hated my success above my hard work.
At the moment, I didn't understand what I was trying hard for.
Then the rain suddenly stopped... did it?
My ears still heard the pouring sound, but no droplet hit me anymore.
I then realized that a thin cloth was separating the crying me from the crying sky.
Did I stand in the rain to hide the tear?
I didn't know. I didn't want to know.
"Do you sometimes feel like you don't belong anywhere?" I asked you, the umbrella's owner, whom I couldn't see the face clearly after sharing umbrella and sharing the silence, for more than five minutes, on the bridge under the rain.
I received an answer with an attachment, a light smile.
"Most of the time, to be precise..., you?"
"I never thought about it before. May be never, may be always, but I'm feeling that way now."
"Why didn't you say anything? They all think that you are heartless."
"Does that include you?"
"If it does, do you think I will be here?"
I stared blankly at the running river below.
The second ago, I was thinking about throwing myself down there.
However, something warm touched me through that normal sentence and it changed my mind. The warmth up here was still better than that cold steam.
I was not throwing myself down there yet, not yet.
I started again.
No answer but I knew that you was ready for my next sentence from the way the umbrella tilted up a bit.
"If we both belonged to no one, how about..."
I paused, starting to feel weird about the whole idea I was about to propose, but too tired to think of something else.
"How about... belonging to each other?"
That light smile again. This time, it came with the warmest hug I had ever received.
'How did we end up like this?'
I remembered the question I asked myself while sitting on your grey bed sheet, listening to the showering sound. I had been living alone long enough to not get used to other person's showering sound. Couldn't help but imagined how the droplets travel from the tip of your hair through your shoulders, down your bared chest, your stomach, circled around your navel and...
"Sempai, I told you, you can sleep in advance."
Your calm voice interrupted my imagination. I signed in relief but struggled to breath again when I saw you in the towel.
I guessed you were used to living alone as well, not intentionally wanting to make me feel anything.
But damn, your smooth skin dotted with water droplets and newly bath soap scent made my stomach twisted in a weird manner.
"I was waiting for my hair to dry."
You ignored my answer and dressed while I tried so hard to ignore the shameless you.
Instead of offering the bed to me and migrate to the sofa like a good host should do, you lied down on one side of the bed, open your arms and smiled at me. A question was asked through a lift of an eyebrow. You offered me the opportunity to choose by myself, between sleeping on the sofa alone or on the bed ... with you.
'How did we end up like this?'
That afternoon, people in the workplace was arguing. They were trying to destroy me rather than my idea. During the break, you touched my shoulder and offered me a cup of tea. I said thank you, remembered that someone told me that you had been through similar situation before. I rushed out into the rain right after the meeting end. You followed and offered me an umbrella, then hug, then a place to sleep, and now, a hug again.
If someone saw me entering your place, I guaranteed that they would imagine something hotter on your bed.
However, all that happened, no matter if anyone was going to believe, was a hug, a cuddle.
It was not sexual. It was like two hurt creatures holding each other, trying to maintain the broken parts and fulfilling the missing pieces.
I didn't fully understand the situation, neither did you, but we were relieved and saved for the night, that was all I could tell.
Slowly, I became more familiar with that grey bed sheet and it's owner.
We exchanged hug, tear, kiss, touches, the stories of our lives, then gradually some part of them and more.
My temporary shelter looked more like home each day I entered.
I learned that you were funnier than I thought. You were obsessed with fruits and eco-lifestyle. The way you look at the world merged into my world and make it a bit brighter and greener.
You learned that I was not perfect. I was super clumsy and I hated fruits. You couldn't stand the fact, so I had to take courses with you until my edible fruits expanded from just apple, banana and orange to pineapple, mangosteen and more.
I dare to say that the moment we were together was the favorite one in my life.
The moment I dare to say that 'We belonged to each other.'
'How did it all end?'
I couldn't find the exact answer for that question no matter how much I tried.
The stare we got from people in the office? on the street? in your family?
Or the bad habit I have, or was it yours?
I don't want to guess anymore, since the reason will not change your answer anyway.
'Why am I even here?'
I ask myself once again, sign and look one last time at your door - the one that will never open for me again, then turn away.
The rain is still pouring, I still don't have an umbrella, but that doesn't matter.
Today I need the rain to conceal something wet on my cheek like it once did long time ago.
The door cracks.
You step out with a garbage bag in one hand and a surprised face. Of course, you didn't expect me in front of your door, like a stalker, like this.
I smile weakly at you, waving goodbye to tell you I didn't intend to intrude any further.
You put down the garbage bag, then open the door a bit wider--
No, letting me in is not an option... not anymore.
It was wider, for you to reach inside and search for something.
"Take care on your way home."
A kind smile from a kind you is attached with the same umbrella.
"And... no need to return."
I don't want to ask what you don't want to be back.
I say thank you and walk back under your umbrella.
The rain can't touch me but my face is still wet.
I am not strong enough to listen to your answer,
but don't you worry.
Nothing will return to you again,
neither the umbrella...
I'm always obsessed with an idea of sharing umbrella. I have a plot that I want to write about the 'umbrella theory' but never finish. However, some silence in my chest today gave birth to this rainy short story.
I persist that I like a lively slight of life short story. I just can't help but keep writing lonely story in storylog. Sorry for that once again.
P.s. Sempai = upperclassman = senior = รุ่นพี่
อยากให้เรียกว่ารุ่นพี่ หรือพี่ แต่ว่าเขียนเป็นภาษาอังกฤษ รู้สึกว่าคำว่า senior ก็ไม่เข้า เลยไปใช้ภาษาญี่ปุ่นแทน
Written in this book
A Black Cat in the Middle of Nowhere